•Report by Kamil Opeyemi
Some youths in Lagos have expressed dismay over their denial to cast their votes during the Feb. 25th Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The youths had expressed their grievances on Sunday, outside one of the collation centres at the Lagos State Model Nursery and Primary School, Maria, Lagos.
They claimed being disenfranchised because no Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official was present at their Polling Units (PU) on Feb. 25 during the elections.
They had chanted the solidarity songs and were pouring out their displeasure by shouting, “We must Vote!”.
However, security operatives including the police and the army were on ground to ensure safety, orderliness and peace in the area.
One of them, who preferred to be addressed as Charles, claimed that elections did not hold at his Polling Unit, 064, Ward 6, United Estate in Sangotedo area of the state.
“We did not see any INEC official till now that I am here. What we want now is that we want to vote; even though my candidate does not win, I know that I will justify my feeling in my own fatherland.
“I want INEC to go there, allow us to vote; this is our era; we the youth must take our course,” he said.
Another affected youth, Mr Henry Mba, said that the primary school where elections were to hold had 10 polling units, but only seven out of the ten casted their votes.
According to him, the three units where voters did not vote had the largest number of voters.
“Voters were present at those polling units till very late in the night, through to early hours of this morning, hoping to still cast their votes,” Mba said.
Speaking to the media, Mr Olubankole Wellington, known as Banky W, who was there to calm the youths, urged INEC to officially address stakeholders on the issues raised by the youths.
Banky W is the Progressives Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representative Candidate, Federal Constituency, Lagos State.
He said: “The days are gone when Nigerians will just sit by and allow people in authority to do whatever they want without being held accountable.
“So, what you are seeing is a community that is intending to hold the people in authority accountable, to allow them to exercise their civil rights, vote for who they want.
“Also, I think it is only fair; and at the end of the day, even if they are not ready to do it today, they should come out and address the people and let us know when they will vote.”
No INEC official was on ground to give comments.